Cleveland Guardians era starts with 'ominous sign'

MLB’s Cleveland franchise officially changed its name to the Guardians Friday, and the new day in the organization’s history started with a bang.,

MLB’s Cleveland franchise officially changed its name to the Guardians Friday, and the new day in the organization’s history started with a bang.

The Guardians opened their team store for fans to get their hands on new merchandise. As fans were shopping, the sign installed outside the team store came crashing down onto the sidewalk. The sign fell when a worker was on a ladder checking bolts.

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Ben Traska, right, helps customer John Marquart at the opening of the Cleveland Guardians team store in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. It's Day One for the Guardians, who put caps, jerseys and other merchandise on sale to the public for the first time since dropping the name Indians, the franchise's identity since 1915.

Ben Traska, right, helps customer John Marquart at the opening of the Cleveland Guardians team store in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. It’s Day One for the Guardians, who put caps, jerseys and other merchandise on sale to the public for the first time since dropping the name Indians, the franchise’s identity since 1915.
(AP Photo/Ken Blaze)

“Well, that’s an ominous sign,” one person yelled.

No one was injured.

Regardless, fans were lining up early to get some new swag with the Guardians logo.

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Workers from the Brilliant Electric Sign Company put out caution tape after pieces of the Cleveland Guardians team store sign fell to the ground in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. The sign was being installed and fell off the building.

Workers from the Brilliant Electric Sign Company put out caution tape after pieces of the Cleveland Guardians team store sign fell to the ground in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. The sign was being installed and fell off the building.
(AP Photo/Ken Blaze)

“This kind of exceeds expectations. Having people show up at 6:30 [a.m.], and then we had 100 people in by 9:14 [a.m.]. You can kind of see the store looks like we’re having a game today,” Cleveland’s director of merchandising Karen Fox told the Associated Press.

The organization announced intentions to change its name before the start of the 2021 season and landed on the new name earlier this year.

The change came under some scrutiny when a roller derby team with the same name filed a lawsuit. Team officials announced earlier this week the two sides reached an “amicable resolution” allowing both teams to use the same name.

A worker from the Brilliant Electric Sign Company holds a broken piece of the Cleveland Guardians team store sign in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Cleveland. The sign was being installed and fell off the building.

A worker from the Brilliant Electric Sign Company holds a broken piece of the Cleveland Guardians team store sign in Cleveland, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Cleveland. The sign was being installed and fell off the building.
(AP Photo/Ken Blaze)

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Cleveland had been known as the Indians from 1915 to 2021. The team was originally known as the Blues in 1901, the Bronchos in 1902 and the Naps from 1903 to 1914.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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